I work in a small office, and it’s easy for someone to fill the entire space with the smells of their lunch, so I’ve been trying to bring lunches that aren’t too pungent. Peanut noodles are one of my favorites– the recipe is EXTREMELY easy and quick to make, cheap, easy to adjust to your personal taste preferences, and really delicious! I used to make this in the dining hall a lot when I was in college, because most of the ingredients can be found there, and sometimes I just wanted to eat something that I made. Keep in mind that the proportions of all ingredients can be altered to suit your preferences; play around with it and taste as you go. Enjoy!
For a work week’s worth of lunches (aka 5 lunches)
1 lb. of pasta (I use any kind of long, thin noodle, but other shapes work too)
1 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth, up to you; my recommendation is chunky for texture)
2 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. sriracha (or any other hot sauce you like)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
Honey or sweet chili sauce (if you want it sweeter; I usually find that hoisin is enough)
Sesame seeds for garnish
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
- Make pasta according to package directions. (Don’t forget to salt the water generously but only after it is boiling! Doing so before can ruin pots because salt is corrosive, and it doesn’t dissolve as well in cold water.) While pasta is cooking, prepare the cucumbers and make the sauce!
- Cut cucumbers into thin strips.
- Put in bowl and toss with the rice vinegar, salt, and sugar. Let marinate for as long as you can before eating. (You don’t HAVE to prep the cucumbers this way; you can definitely use them without the “pickling” sauce. I just think it tastes better this way.)
- Combine peanut butter and sesame oil in a bowl or jar. Mix until fully incorporated. (I add sesame oil first because it helps the peanut butter thin out and accept the other ingredients more easily, but the order is not crucial by any means.)
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. Taste and adjust if necessary!
- When pasta is done cooking and drained, add sauce and stir while the pasta is still warm so that the sauce coats the noodles more easily.
- Add cucumbers and sesame seeds right before serving. This dish is yummy hot or cold; perfect for eating over the course of the week!